Siblings Run Away With Father's Body After Being Told Of COVID-19 SOPs For Funerals

The suspects escaped the hospital PUI camp with their father's body on a trolley.

Cover image via Wikimedia Commons & New Straits Times

Four siblings in Sabah ran away with their father's body after hospital staff told them about the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic

According to New Straits Times, the incident occurred after their 58-year-old father passed away at the patient under investigation (PUI) zone camp at Lahad Datu Hospital, on Wednesday, 20 January.

Lahad Datu district police chief ACP Rohan Shah Ahmad said the patient, with a history of acute left ischemic pontine infarct, was rushed to the hospital after falling unconscious at around 8.30pm.

"The patient was then isolated in the PUI zone camp and given emergency breathing assistance for 30 minutes by medical officers," the police chief said in a statement last night.

"The patient, however, died and medical officers explained the SOPs for funeral arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic to the siblings, including COVID-19 screenings to eliminate the risk of infection."

Rohan said the siblings then refused to leave their father's body at the hospital and escaped by pushing the body trolley out of the PUI zone camp

The suspects, three brothers and one sister aged 26 to 31, took the body back to their home in Kampung Panji Laut.

"A team of police from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) managed to locate all the suspects with the assistance of the Lahad Datu Hospital's forensics unit, and the body was found in the living room of the house," the police chief said.

The siblings were arrested at 11.30pm that night and were placed in remand for three days to assist with investigations

Rohan said the case is being investigated under Section 270 of the Penal Code for committing a malignant act likely to spread infection of a dangerous disease.

They will also be investigated under Section 22(b) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 for disobeying a lawful order issued by the hospital.

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